NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are seeking the public’s help in identifiying a suspect in attempted sexual assault captured on surveillance video last month.
A 13-year-old boy walking to school fought off a frightening attack in Morningside Heights after he was suddenly assaulted by a stranger.
The teen is physically fine after managing to get away from his attacker. Police released surveillance video from the incident, hoping someone will recognize the stranger.
The surveillance video was taken from a nearby building in the area of 110th Street and Columbus Avenue on Dec. 23.
The suspect apparently walked up to the teen and tried to befriend him. He then grabbed the victim off-camera and forced the boy into a stairwell, where police say he tried to sexually assault him.
The suspect is described as an adult male in his 30s, last seen in the same clothing from the video – a green jacket, tan pants, black sneakers and a light brown hat.
Neighbors in the area, and especially parents, are upset.
“You never know who to really trust. I mean you think somebody’s trying to be a friend, but some people are always up to something,” Mark Rankin told CBS 2′s Derricke Dennis.
“It’s disturbing. I have a 7-year-old, so it scares me,” Morningside Heights resident Bernadine Gagnon said.
“There’s usually not that many crimes reported that I know of in this particular neighborhood, and I’m just hoping it’s a one-time incident,” resident Dione Ware said.
Thankfully the teenager was not hurt, but police are hoping someone knows the suspect and turns him in before another teen is attacked.